The Phoenix Nest

Gros Morne RV Campgound, near Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland

Gros Morne RV Campgound, near Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland

A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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A Message from the Phoenix

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Abstract

I spent a week at Gros Morne RV Campgound, near Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland. I drove north along the west side of the island from Codroy to Deer Lake, then west to Rocky Harbour, and the Gros Morne National Park, which is the site of two major geological formations: Tablelands to the south is rock from Earth’s mantle exposed half a billion years ago. Green Point is the the GSSP for the Tremadocian Stage, that is, it is internationally recognized as the stratotype for the boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician periods of the Earth's development.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0706
Title Gros Morne RV Campgound, near Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
Subtitle A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, Gros Morne RV Campgound, Gros Morne National Park, Green Point, Tablelands, Table Point
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2017
Status Published: 2018/8/29
Last Revised 2018-09-05

Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland

Arrived 2018/7/6
Day of Tour 349
Nights Stayed 6
Departed 2018/7/12
Map miles from last stop 184
Mileage on arrival 39,700
Actual miles from last stop 200
Accumulated miles for trip 21,183

I made Gros Morne National Park a particular target of my tour because it contains Green Point, the official boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician Periods of Earth's development. I spent two days exploring Green Point, one of them on a guided tour. There weren't many fossils to be found, and all of them had been discovered by guides over the years. But as a geological formation, it was awesome.

Almost as remarkable, and also contained within the Park, was the Tablelands, a massive dome of heavy metal rock (the geological kind) that is the remains of a bubble of magma from Earth's mantle that forced its way to the surface half a billion years ago.

All in all, this was the most exciting week of the Grand Fossil Tour to that time, even if there weren't many fossils.

Page Contents

Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland

Rocky Harbour is a small town on the north shore of Bonne Bay, off the west coast of Newfoundland. Here they fish for cod and other seafood, as well as for tourists, which latter seems to bring in the more money, at least during the short Newfoundland summer. The town, along with other villages along Bonne Bay and the west coast, was incorporated into Gros Morne National Park in 1973.

The Journey to Rocky Harbour

I drove north along the west side of the island from Codroy to Deer Lake, then west to Rocky Harbour, (have to remember the ‘u’; I’m in Canada now!) and the Gros Morne National Park. TCH (Tran-Canada Highway) 1 is the major commercial highway from the ferry terminal at Port aux Basques to all the towns in western NL, and on to St. John's on the east coast, so it doesn’t hug the scenic coast like a marine drive, or like the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. It takes a more direct route, winding vertically over the tops of mountain ridges, rather than horizontally around bays and inlets. There was still plenty of water to be seen, long fjords from the sea, or lakes down the valleys.

By the time I turned west toward the park, the weather had turned dark and ominous, and most of that leg I drove in the rain. The hills and grades grew steeper, and the curves wetter and sharper. Fortunately it let up when I arrived at my campground in Rocky Harbour.

Map of Journey to Rocky Harbor

Map to Rocky Harbor
Route of Journey to Rocky Harbor from Codroy Valley, Newfoundland

Around Rocky Harbour

The photos in this gallery include not only Rocky Harbour, but also Norris Point to the southeast and Lobster Cove to the north. They offer a flavor of the locale.

Photo Gallery for Rocky Harbour

Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Norris Point, Newfoundland
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The Gros Morne Whirl
Norris Point, Newfoundland
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The Gros Morne Whirl
Norris Point, Newfoundland
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The Gros Morne Whirl
Norris Point, Newfoundland
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Overlooking Bonne Bay
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Overlooking Bonne Bay
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Overlooking Bonne Bay
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Overlooking Bonne Bay
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Overlooking Bonne Bay
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland
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Lighthouse
Lobster Cove, Newfoundland

Gros Morne RV Campgound

The campground was not nearly as attractive as others I have visited recently. Merely a gravel parking lot, with a back-in site. And I got the “good” parking lot, near the office, with neatly divided sites. There’s another area that could just as well be the employee parking lot for a quarry. There are prettier sites available, nice, wooded alcoves, but they’re too small for big rigs.

The campground wifi was public (i.e., no password) and poor. Some of the time I could browse the web on my computer; even less frequently on my tablet.

However, I made do. I don’t spend much time in the campground outside my trailer. And it’s the national park I was there to see.

Photo Gallery for Gros Morne RV Campgound

Gros Morne RV Campgound
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Gros Morne RV Campgound
Address 10 West Link Rd
Rocky Harbor NL A0K 4N0
Canada
Home Page https://www.grosmornervcampground.com/
Phone ‭(877) 488-3133‬
Associations
Rate (net US$) $29
Features
Amenities
Sewer Fire-Ring
Picnic Table   Paved Patio
  Pull-through Back-in
  Paved Gravel
 
Site Type
Lane Surface
Site Surface
  Paved Gravel   Grass    
  50 30   20
Playground   Swimming   Golf
  Tennis   Waterfront   Other
Power
Play Areas
 
Reviews (as of 2018/8/16)
Reviewer
 
Rating Out of
(Highest: Best - 1: Worst)
RV Park Reviews 7.6 Good 10
Good Sam 8 10
KOA n/a 5
Tripadvisor 4 5
Phoenix 5 10
Attractiveness 7 10
Tree Cover 8 10: Dense - 1: Treeless
Site Size 7 10
Ease of Access 6 10
WiFiPhoenix 3 10
Pros
  • Convenient to Gros Morne National Park
Cons
  • Big rigs camp in gravel parking lot
  • Very poor, unsecured wifi

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National ParkWikipedia exceeded all my expectations. Aside from its natural beauty, enhanced by mostly sunny days, the geological features of the park were breath-taking. So significant are these features that it was made a national park reserve in 1973, and a national park in 2005. In 1987, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.WikipediaWikipedia

My report on this region is far more extensive than any before, though there have been others with more photos of fossils. I realize that not all of you want to see everything. So I've organized my memories and my photos and other images from the Park into the following groups, from which you may choose what to look at:

  1. Maps of Gros Morne National Park (immediately below)
  2. Green Point at Gros Morne National Park
  3. Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park
  4. Table Point Formation at Gros Morne National Park
  5. Fossils at Gros Morne National Park
  6. Rocks at Gros Morne National Park
  7. Flora at Gros Morne National Park

Maps of Gros Morne National Park

Green Point at Gros Morne National Park
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Google Map of Gros Morne National Park
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Relief Map of Gros Morne National Park
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Relief Map of Gros Morne National Park, with Labels
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Google Map of the Bonne Bay area of Gros Morne National Park
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Google Map of the Green Point Formation at Gros Morne National Park
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Google Map of the Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park

Green Point at Gros Morne National Park

I visited the Green Point formation twice, the second time on a guided tour to correct my misapprehensions from the first. Both times I was in awe.

For some reason the official Parks Canada web site for Gros Morne National Park does not mention Green Point (although it does advertise the Tablelands), and the provincial web site mentions only the nearby campground. Wikipedia is more forthcoming:

In 2000, the cliffs at Green Point were approved as the Global Stratotype Section and Point for the base of the Ordovician system by the International Union of Geological Sciences. The boundary is a section 60m thick composed of layers of shale and limestone with overturned beds dipping 60-70 degrees to the South East.Wikipedia

A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, or GSSP, is an official designation by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) of a geological boundary between internationally recognized stages in the development of the Earth. Green Point is the GSSP for the Ordovician Period. At every such boundary they plant a marker, a “Golden Spike” (probably a pun on GSSP), and I saw (and photographed) the one at Green Point.Phoenix The first one I’ve ever seen. There are only a few in North America. I plan to see more! Every one of the North American GSSPs is on my itinerary. As a matter of fact, I’ll see another one soon. The GSSP for the Cambrian Period is at Fortune Head, NL.

For you who like the technical details, here is the official definition of this GSSP from the ICS:

The base of the Ordovician System [~485.4 ± 1.9 mya] and base of the lowest Ordovician stage (Tremadocian) is exposed in the coastal platform at Green Point, western Newfoundland, at 101.8m level, within Bed 23, in the measured section (Lower Broom Point Member, Green Point Formation), coinciding with the first appearance of the conodontPhoenix Iapetognathus fluctivagus, and 4.8m below the earliest planktonic graptolites.Wikipedia

From a visitor's point of view, the Green Point formation is a tide- and storm-washed cliff, around the corner from some cabins used by fishermen during the summer. When I first arrived at the top of the cliff, what I saw on the beach below was a huge array of straight lines headed out into the sea (more precisely, the Gulf of St. Lawrence). It almost looked like a farmer's field that had been plowed and then flooded. Except that it was everywhere strewn with boulders. Looking up at the cliffs from the beach, you see endless, near vertical, thin layers of shale, interspersed occasionally with thicker layers of limestone.

Imagine, if you will, a huge book — The Book of the Earth (the guide's analogy) — buried spine-down, in the rocks, half a billion years ago, uplifted to the surface, and subjected to the time and tides, each page a diary entry for a moment or a century, collecting the silt, and the occasional corpse, as they settle to the bottom. The thicker the page, the shorter the time span it records. Thin layers of shale might take a century to write. Thicker layers of limestone might build up in a day, when the calcium-laden sediment of marine organisms, compressed for ages on the continental shelf, eventually slides down onto the sea floor. A yard-thick layer of conglomerate might accumulate in less than an hour, through an under-water avalance from the shelf. The pages of this book are torn and eroded. We see only the weathered edges.

This chapter of the book is officially recognized as recording the base (the bottom, the oldest rock) of the Ordovician Period, and by implication the top (the youngest rock) of the Cambrian Period, at about 485 million years ago. The pages are nearly vertical, and their orientation was not obvious to an amateur like me. I made a simple assumption that the layers had been flipped 80° from their initial flat position in the sea bed, and that therefore the time line went from the older Cambrian to the north to the younger Ordovician to the south. It turns out that my assumption was wrong, that the layers had been flipped 100°. This meant that most of the accessible beach was from the Cambrian Period. Of course, professionals, using any number of dating techniques, most involving expensive, time-consuming equipment, would have known better. The guide showed us something simpler: A number of the layers showed ripples, as though they had formed during periods when the water was turbulent. It turns out that the rock layers that recorded that turbulence have a different shape on the top and bottom; the ripples point to the top, later layers. A couple photos in the gallery below reveal that difference.

By the way, in many of the photos you will see boulders, mostly granite, resting on the edges of the layers on the beach. These are not Cambrian/Ordovician rocks. I should say, there presence here is not from that time span. These are glacial erratics ("glacier poop"), scraped from the mountains of central newfoundland a hundred thousand years ago, and deposited here when the glaciers melted twelve thousand years ago.

Photo Gallery for Green Point at Gros Morne National Park

Green Point at Gros Morne National Park
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Information about Green Point
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The Tour at Green Point
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Formal Dedication of Green Point
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Formal Dedication of Green Point
(Enhanced for Readability)
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Golden Spike at Green Point (I think!Phoenix)
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Another marker at Green Point
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Fishermen's Huts at Green Point
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Fishermen's Huts at Green Point
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Fishermen's Huts at Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Wandering around Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Glacial Erratics at Green Point
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Layers on the Beach at Green Point
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Layers on the Beach at Green Point
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Layers on the Beach at Green Point
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Layers on the Beach at Green Point
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Layers on the Beach at Green Point
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Layers of Shale on the Beach at Green Point
(Canadian Quarter for Scale)
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Layers of Limestone on the Beach at Green Point
(Canadian Quarter for Scale)
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Layers of Limestone on the Beach at Green Point
(Canadian Quarter for Scale)
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Layers on the Cliff at Green Point
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Conglomerate Layers at Green Point
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Conglomerate Layers at Green Point
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Conglomerate Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
(Labeled to Show Top and Bottom,
and Thus Direction of Time)
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
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Ripples in the Layers at Green Point
(Labeled to Show Top and Bottom,
and Thus Direction of Time)
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician at Green Point
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Golden Spike at Green Point (I think!Phoenix)

Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park

“It doesn’t belong here!” That’s what the guide said of Tablelands Mountain. It’s unlike any of the surrounding terrain, or anything I'm likely to see anywhere else.

And indeed it looks different. You come up over a pass or a hill, almost anywhere around Bonne Bay, and there it is: a great dome of mottled, yellowish brown, like a steel helmet, left to rust in the sun. No trees. From a distance, only a thin smattering of green haze betrays the presence of life.

It is old, this mountain, like much of Newfoundland, half a billion years old, plus or minus a decade or two. It is not, like all the rest of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and New England, part of the Appalachian orogeny, an upthrust and folding of continental crust. The Tablelands came from far below, from the very mantle of the Earth, a bubble of heavy metals, iron and nickel and calcium and cadmium and the like, squeezed up under the pressure of the collision of tectonic plates, with such force that it shoved aside the lighter continental crust, and came to rest as a mountain of peridotite, toxic to most of the plant life of the region. Slowly, over hundreds of millions of years, a thin, fragile ecosystem evolved of plants and animals that could tolerate the chemistry of the soil and severity of the seasons.

Marvelous is the Tablelands to behold! And to think: it’s just around the corner in Newfoundland. You can drive right up to it.

Photo Gallery for Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park

Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park
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Gazing at the Tablelands from Norris Point
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Gazing at the Tablelands from Norris Point
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Gazing at the Tablelands from Norris Point
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Gazing at the Tablelands from Norris Point
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Discovery Centre at Tablelands
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Discovery Centre at Tablelands
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Discovery Centre at Tablelands
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Discovery Centre at Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Walking the Hills of Tablelands
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Contrast the Hills of the Tablelands with the Verdant Ridges Opposite
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Contrast the Hills of the Tablelands with the Verdant Ridges Opposite
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Contrast the Hills of the Tablelands with the Verdant Ridges Opposite
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Contrast the Hills of the Tablelands with the Verdant Ridges Opposite
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Collected in a Waterfall at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands
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Snowmelt Supports Fragile Life at Tablelands

Table Point Formation at Gros Morne National Park

Frustrated!

After my successful outing to Green Point, I sought to follow it up with an additional venture to Table Point,Wikipedia another on my list of Newfoundland fossil sites. I found far less information on the web than for Green Point, and a zoom in on Google Maps revealed not the slightest hint of visitation, but nevertheless (what else was I going to do that Sunday?), I packed my gear in the truck and drove 60 miles north on route 430 (“The Viking Trail”) until my GPS said I was there.

My eye confirmed what the map didn’t show me: no parking lot (except to a quarry across the road), no big sign saying “Table Point Ecological Reserve” (there was a little, tiny one a ways off the road saying effectively “You’re on your own. Don’t break or take anything.”), more significantly NO TRAIL! Since the sign and the web site implied that non-destructive exploration was permitted, I began looking for a way to the cliffs; they were only half a kilometer away.

My first attempt through the brush, a low conifer, which was much too dense. I then wandered south in flanking maneuver and found what seemed to be a field surrounding a pond. I soon discovered that it was a kind of wetland, not so wet as a swamp, but shallow water covered the entire field, and I was jumping from hummock to hummock. I got across, mostly dry, found my way through a thinner line of brush, and there was a barren, rocky dome overlooking the sea. An easy 200 meters (see: I’m learning to think metrically!), and I was at edge. There below me on the beach were the same kinds of straight lines, indicating the top, weathered edges of geological strata.

And that was as far as I could get! Look as I might, I could find no safe way down that crumbling cliff. Someone younger and bolder and better equipped might have ventured it. Not I. Lying broken at the bottom, with no one around to give or get aid, seemed not worth the risk. So I sighed, took what photos I could, and turned back.

The way back was easier but longer. I found the remains of an old vehicle track, heading off generally in the direction of the highway, and I opted to follow it rather than fight my way back through the bog. I even hoped it might branch off toward the base of the cliff. What it did was peter out in another wetland, about 50 meters from the road, this one deeper, but not impassible. Once across I found myself a couple kilometers south of my truck.

I did a bit more exploration in the truck, but found no way to the base of the cliffs. So I returned to Rocky Harbour, and soothed my disappointment with a nice seafood dinner.

Photo Gallery for Table Point at Gros Morne National Park

Table Point at Gros Morne National Park
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Official Designation of the Table Point Formation
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Route 430 past the Table Point Formation
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Trees Barring my Way to the
Table Point Formation
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Alternative Route through a Field around a Pond
Table Point Formation
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On the Way to the
Table Point Formation
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Boggy Field to the
Table Point Formation
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On the Way to the
Table Point Formation
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Barren Dome above the
Table Point Formation
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Barren Dome above the
Table Point Formation
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Barren Dome above the
Table Point Formation
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Layers of the
Table Point Formation
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Blind, Steep Descent to the
Table Point Formation
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The Way Back from the
Table Point Formation
I'm Not Alone!
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Back from the
Table Point Formation
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
(Which Finger? What Gesture?)
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point
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Another Formation
North of Table Point

Fossils at Gros Morne National Park

Although Green Point is the GSSP for the base of the Ordovician Period, and is the source many fossils, such as the Iapetognathus fluctivagus, a species of conodont,Phoenix which is the index fossil for that base, there are not many fossils to be found by an amateur, and collecting them is prohibited. Guides have collected a few over the years, but unlike museums there is no placard explaining what they are. Moreover, they are typically small and faint. I did photograph what was there, but since they are not documented, I'm not sure how I'll fit them into my consolidated fossil collection. So I'm including what I have here.

Photo Gallery of Fossils at Gros Morne National Park

Fossils at Gros Morne National Park
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
I think the guide called it a graptolite.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
I think the guide called it a graptolite.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
I think the guide called it a graptolite.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
I think the guide called it a graptolite.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Fossil from the Green Point Formation.
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Possibly a Trace Fossil of a Recent Species
Layers on the Cliff at Green Point

Rocks at Gros Morne National Park

This gallery contains close-up photographs of rocks that I found captivating. Since you might not take interest in rocks themselves, I have placed them here so that you can either peruse or ignore them at your discretion. The rocks shown here fall mainly into these categories:

  • Green Point.
    • Granite crumbles from the glacial erratics.
  • Tablelands.
    • Peridotite. A heavy, dense mixture of heavy metals, dark green on the inside, and rusty yellow on the outside.
    • Serpentinite. A transformation of the peridotite into a crust of black, marked by a tracework of white lines that resembles the skin of a snake (hence, the name).
  • Table Point.
    • Varied, including a few geode-like crystals in granite.

Photo Gallery for Rocks at Gros Morne National Park

Rocks at Gros Morne National Park
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Conglomerate Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from Green Point Formation
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Rock from The Tablelands
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Rock from The Tablelands
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Rock from The Tablelands
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Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Serpentinite on Peridotite from The Tablelands
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Rock from Table Point
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Rock from Table Point
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Rock from Table Point
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Rock from Table Point

Flora at Gros Morne National Park

This gallery contains close-up photographs of flowers and other plants in Gros Morne that I found captivating. Since you might not be interested in flowers themselves, I have placed them here so that you can either peruse or ignore them at your discretion.

I consulted Plants of Gros Morne National Park (Guide 3) in an attempt to identify the flowers, but in most cases I was unable to do so. And what identifications there are, are unreliable.

One common plant that needs some introduction is the Sarracenia purpurea, or purple pitcher plant, which I found throughout Gros Morne National Park, and at Mistaken Point as well. This plant is a carnivore, despite the oddity of such a beastie so far north. Its process of devouring bugs and other small critters, is complicated in a way worthy of Rube Goldberg:

  1. The plant forms buckets or pitchers of leaves at its base, with downward pointing spikes on the interior, and then secretes aromatic goo into the liquid that accumulates in the pitchers.
  2. Ants, flies, and other small critters are attracted by the odor, and fall to their deaths in the pitchers.
  3. Mosquitoes are immune to the traps of the plant, and lay eggs in the pitchers.
  4. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the carcasses in the pitchers.
  5. The plant assimilates the nutrients from the excretions of the larvae; that is, they eat larvae poop.

Photo Gallery of Flora at Gros Morne National Park

Flora at Gros Morne National Park
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Model of Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea
Table Point
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
(Note leaves at base of plant, folded into pitchers.)
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
(Note leaves at base of plant, folded into pitchers.)

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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
Miscellaneous Carcasses from Pitcher
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
Mosquito Larvae from Pitcher
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Purple Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia purpurea Tablelands
Wriggling Mosquito Larvae from Pitcher
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Sea Thrift
Armeria maritima Tablelands
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Sea Thrift
Armeria maritima Tablelands
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Sea Thrift
Armeria maritima Tablelands
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Sea Thrift
Armeria maritima Tablelands
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Gray Wool Moss
(according to guide)
Tablelands
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Gray Wool Moss
(according to guide)
Death-like Gray Turns Green When Sprinkled with Water
Tablelands
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Gray Wool Moss
(according to guide)
Tablelands
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Gray Wool Moss
(according to guide)
Tablelands
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Moss
Tablelands
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Moss
Green Point
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Fern
Tablelands
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Wild Strawberry
Green Point
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Blue Flag Iris
Iris_versicolor
Green Point
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Blue Flag Iris
Iris_versicolor
Green Point
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Blue Flag Iris
Iris_versicolor
Green Point
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Labrador violet
Viola labradorica
Green Point
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Labrador violet
Viola labradorica
Green Point
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Seaweed
Green Point
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Seaweed
Green Point

Onward

My next stop after leaving Rocky Harbour will be Gander, Newfoundland, from which I will visit the airport that hosted so many airplanes that were backed up, when American airports were closed due to the 9/11 disaster.

Comments and Conversation

What follows are comments and conversations I have had with people about this page of The Phoenix Nest.

Dialog 1

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Other species of conodonts emerged during the Cambrian Period. I find them particularly interesting because they are among the very first vertebrates, our zillion-times-removed-cousins, with eyes and possibly even ears, suggesting that were aware of their environment enough to distinguish food, predators, and mates from all else in their surroundings.

I am no longer confident that the marker that I saw and photographed is an official Golden Spike.

  1. The guide of my tour did not know that such a marker had been placed.
  2. The marker did not, like the one shown in Wikipedia, display 'Ordovician' or reference the ICS.
  3. The marker was several meters away from the actual boundary, as pointed to by the guide.
Ah, well. Even if the marker was not official, my experience was awesome.
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